The first laser-guided wind reading technology has been installed atop a floating turbine, with a nacelle-mounted Lidar unit now operating on the FloatGen demonstrator turning off France.

First data collected using the technology, common in onshore wind but only recently being piloted on offshore wind farms, is said by the so-called Vamos consortium leader Stuttgart Wind Energy to be “very promising”, with a winter measurement campaign expect to “shed more light on the value of LiDAR on floating wind turbines”.

The Lidar, which uses light detection and ranging technology to shoot a laser beam into the sky to gauge wind flow by reading the way it “scatters” in the atmospheric particles, will inform projects on the validation of simulation tools, real-time wind data processing and advanced controller design, with an eye on developing lighter-weight and lower-cost floating turbine designs.

For the Vamos (validation, measurement and optimisation) project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Energy and supported by the EU’s Marinet2 H2020 programme, two wind Lidar systems will be installed on the full-scale demonstrator, made up of a genericised 2MW Vestas turbine and a ‘damping pool’ platform design developed by Ideol, for a six-month measurement at the Sem-Rev test site off western France.

The Ideol floating wind platform has seen installation off Japan as well as France, with expectations the concept will be among the three leading design for the coming wave of projects off Europe, Asia and the US.